The Tragic Death Of Ink Master Season 4 Winner, Scott Marshall

Scott Marshall, Season 4's winner of the popular Spike series, "Ink Master," tragically died in 2015 from an apparent accidental drug overdose. The renowned tattoo artist was found by authorities inside a hotel room in Roselle, Illinois, after not coming home the night before (via 5 Chicago).

Marshall was admired for his unique blending of realistic/surrealist pieces that defined his tattooing style. Fellow Season 4 contestant and friend Matti Hixson mourned the death of his colleague in a public statement to Inked Magazine. "He was the best of us as a tattoo artist and a person. I have been beside myself. I have lost a best friend and a brother," he said (via US Weekly).

The tattoo community is a close-knit web of artists and eclectics that revere one another deeply. Marshall's impression upon those who knew him was profound and immediate, so the news came as a painful shock to many within and without of his circle. It would appear that ink is often thicker than blood.

Family man and friend

Scott Marshall's wife, Johanna, painfully recalls the night her husband didn't come home. She reported to authorities that she'd received a call from him the evening before he died, telling her that he wasn't feeling well and would be spending the night at a local hotel. Sadly, it was the last exchange she'd ever have with him (via 5 Chicago).

The fourth season of "Ink Master" aired in 2014. Against 16 other contestants, Marshall went home with the grand prize of $100,000 and the residual acclaim to follow. Fellow participant and former adversary, "Gentle Jay" Blondel, lamented over the news, sharing how the two went from rivals to friends after the season was over. Despite having an "extremely tense" relationship at first, they went on to share a tattooing booth and establish a strong bond professionally and personally (via US Weekly).

A final statement was made by Spike TV addressing the loss of the husband and father of three. "Spike and [the] entire 'Ink Master' family are stunned and saddened by the news of Scott's passing," the network stated. "He was a great competitor and talented artist. Our deepest condolences go out to the Marshall family and friends" (via Variety).

Season 4 of Ink Master

Season 4 of "Ink Master" concluded in the spring of 2014. The finale featured Scott Marshall as well as the other two finalists, Walter "Sausage" Frank and Matti Hixon, who were all pitted against one another in a high stakes final test of expertise that required a 35-hour session from each of them (divided into five seven-hour increments). After revealing their pieces to the judges (Dave Navarro, Chris Nunez, and Oliver Peck) the first to be eliminated was Hixon. Careful review and consideration after the fact ultimately summoned the decision to name Marshall the reigning champ, according to Paramount Network.

"Ink Master" Season 4 had a record-breaking 1.9 million average viewers, the highest in the show's history at the time (per Paramount). More fans than ever were tuning in to watch Marshall's ascent to the top and remember him as one of the show's most cherished champions to date.

Scott Marshall's history

In 1998, Scott Marshall enrolled in Chicago's American Academy of Art and got his first tattoo a year later. His brother, Christopher Marshall, recalled some of his other notable artistic merits. "He was a great drummer. If it wasn't for the tattooing, he could have easily been a professional musician," he said. "Scott would make the backdrop, airbrush everything and create the posters for the shows," per Inquisitr.

Years later, Marshall met his wife after she arranged an appointment at the shop where he was working, Roselle Tattoo, and selected him as her artist. He tattooed a sword piercing a rose on her leg. Throughout the process, the two started "talking and laughing," as she tells it. They would later go on to get married and start a family together. Scott Marshall is survived by his wife and two brothers, Christopher and Jeffrey; three kids, Nadya, Abrielle, and stepson Victor; and his parents, Beverly and Gregory Marshall (per Inquisitr).